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For the first time, UEFA will conduct blood tests to detect EPO and growth hormones at the forthcoming Euro 2008 finals.

Representatives from the 16 national associations have signed the UEFA anti-doping charter.

Previously, only urine samples were taken, but a total of 300 doping tests will be conducted at all 31 matches in Austria and Switzerland. There will also be unannounced checks at the training camps of all teams before the start of the event.

“I don’t think there is any form of organized doping in soccer,” UEFA president Michel Platini said.

“Some players make mistakes, but there is no structure of clubs or doctors behind them who help dope. However, we cannot be silent about the subject. Not talking about it does not mean it doesn’t happen.”

Shortly before the start of the tournament, each team will be tested at least once with samples taken from 10 players. At every game, two players from each team will be randomly selected for a test immediately after the match.

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